India abstains from voting against Lanka

India abstains from voting against Lanka

India on Thursday abstained from voting on a US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that the move to impose an international probe into alleged atrocities committed by the island nation’s armed forces was an “intrusive approach”.

The resolution was passed with 23 countries voting in its favour in the UNHRC. Twelve countries, including Russia, China and Pakistan, opposed the resolution, while India, along with 11 others, abstained. 

India voted in favour of all the earlier UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka, with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi buckling under pressure from the political parties in Tamil Nadu. This time, however, the Congress risked political backlash in Tamil Nadu ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, as the government chose to abstain from the resolution, which, according to New Delhi, undermines the national sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

The resolution mandates the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up an international inquiry mechanism to probe into the atrocities allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces since 2002.

“Unlike the resolutions in 2009, 2012 and 2013, this resolution imposes an international investigative mechanism. This is an intrusive approach that undermines national sovereignty (of Sri Lanka),” the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said in New Delhi.

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